Trick-or-treaters driving you buggy with their routine of ringing the doorbell and shouting “Trick or Treat”? Had a bad day at your place of work? Relax with a cup of tea so special that it’s a treat in itself.
Autumn around here means things like pumpkins, corn harvests, hearty and hot dishes like soups full of fall vegetables, and fragrant and tasty baked treats with plenty of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, nuts, and candied fruits. Seems only natural, then, to have teas with similar flavors and heartiness. For your ease of gratification, I have listed a few here.
We’re talking about the more U.S. style chais (tea with spices), often called chai lattés. While traditional Indian masala chai is made with a CTC Assam, your fall chai can start with green tea, Ceylon, pu-erh, or even something a bit different such as Lapsang Souchong or a fruity Darjeeling. Then, add in your fall spices such as cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Of course, there are plenty of pre-mixed chais out there from Twinings, Stash, Serenity, Golden Moon, Revolution, The Republic of Tea, and many more. You can get them in loose form, bagged, and some even in concentrate.
The best looking pumpkins show up at farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and other venues for you to buy, tote home, and exercise your creative skills by carving them into Jack-O-Lanterns. The not-so-good-looking ones end up in canned pumpkin, yummy soups, desserts, other seasonal dishes, and teas, naturally! A prime example is Pumpkin Spice Flavored Black Tea — a tasty blend of black teas and rooibos (red bush) leaves, also containing natural pumpkin flavoring and spicy cinnamon. Serve it hot with milk and sugar for a truly scrumptious Fall tea taste.
Great any time of year, teas with vanilla added to them just seem even more yummy as the weather turns chilly, the skies wear their garments of gray, and tree leaves erupt in brilliant colors. Golden Moon make a “delish” Madagascar Vanilla (see reviews by Lainie Petersen and Little Yellow Teapot).
Orange and Spice
Oranges are one of the crops harvested around this time of year, although it’s not as well publicized as squash, summer wheat, apples, and other crops. So, teas such as Orange Spice Black Tea is brimming with the kind of taste that is a real treat during this season.
I’ll recommend another one: Young Pu-erh. Just let it steep a full 10 minutes (yes, I said 10 minutes), then add in some milk, sweetener, and a few autumn-time spices (a dash of nutmeg, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a soupçon of ground cloves, or whatever you might fancy). You might even be bold and top your cupful with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
Of course, those lighter tasting teas aren’t bad this time of year either. Whites like Adams Peak White Tea and 100 Monkeys White Tea, and greens such as Dragon Pearls and Granny Green Apple will complement some of your fall foods, like a hearty quiche brimming with another lesser-known fall harvest crop: broccoli.
As the weather tries to decide between chilling and unseasonably warm, cherish this time of year with a suitable tea to go with an equally suitable meal or to enjoy all on its own. Cheers!
Make sure to stop by A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!